SITUATIONSHIPS, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, MORE THAN FRIENDS LESS THAN LOVERS?
I reckon this post is going to be quite an interesting subject for most. And for the sake of mixing it up, I’ve decided to open with a few random fun facts about myself and then I'll dive in...
I have never: 1. Had a one night stand 2. Cheated 3. Been a mistress (as far as I’m aware!) 4. Had a threesome/foursome/any-some 5. Been intimate with a person of the same sex
SO WHAT HAVE I DONE?
Well, a while ago… I did have a FWB thing going on (Frienefits!) and it was great... with a few complexities! You know those articles you read online about how tricky it can get? They weren’t lying! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a lot of fun but personally I don’t think it’s a relationship that can withstand for the long-term. No longer than 6 months in my opinion.
HERE'S THE THING...
FWB type-relationships are not for the weak! The lines can get blurred very quickly. You have to be a certain type of person to enter this kind of territory, and unfortunately not everyone is cut out to compartmentalise sex… as well as be ruthless and impassive throughout the process. I mean, by nature, human beings are emotional creatures... it's impossible to be totally emotionless.
If anyone reading this post is thinking about adding “benefits” to a friendship… please let me give you a word of advice — if you're someone who gets jealous easily, has an anxious attachment style or are secretly yearning for an actual relationship, then FWB isn’t for you. You'll be setting yourself up for disappointment. People will enter the FWB world thinking that it’s an easy arrangement, but unless you’ve set boundaries and have good communication with your friend – most people will end up suffering from the same problems found in normal relationships, i.e. mismatched expectations, jealousy, unspoken motives, etc.
I was with my FWB for 6 months – which is much longer than what I expected to be honest. It was never planned, it kind of just happened out of nowhere. As it stands, we don’t talk as much as before but we’re still on good terms with each other. I’d still consider him as a friend, to the point where if I dropped him a text now, we’d end up having a nice chit chat about whatever (he’d probably think I was trying to get the D, haha!) but thankfully we put an end to our “thing” without having any bad blood between us. We first got talking a little while back when he added me on Facebook. At the time, he was more of an acquaintance so we were re-introducing ourselves, discussed our mutual friends, music, films, hobbies, family, career goals… the usual stuff when you’re getting to know someone. He eventually asked me if I wanted to get dinner and drinks with him, but out of respect for the dude I was dating at the time, I declined. We kept in touch every so often but conversations slowly fizzled out. A few months later, I’d broken up with that dude and coincidentally, someone decided to slide into my DMs… like almost immediately! Seriously, it was as if an alert got triggered the second I was back on the market! Lol! We started talking again then eventually I agreed to meet up with him…on multiple occasions! We had the craziest, most hilarious times together! We bonded so much and done all sorts: dinner, cinema, went for long drives, shisha, shopping, clubbing! I recall one of our wildest nights when we knocked back (I’m not kidding) about 10 drinks each by 10:00pm! And by 3:00am… I was hurling up on the street and (bless him!) he was moving my hair out the way, keeping me warm, calling me Uber whilst dealing with being intoxicated himself! It was diabolical! 🤦🏻♀️ He sat in the Uber with me all the way back, walked me to my door, took the house keys out of my bag, opened my door (as I could barely function), then actually walked me into my house! I was all a hot mess! He then turned around to jump back in the Uber… which had already left without him! So the poor guy had to call another! Whoops. 🙈 So yeah, as you can imagine we spent a lot of time together and developed a really great bond. Then one day, we agreed to watch Netflix and err.... chill together – surely I don’t need to elaborate any further? And from that moment, I understood the definition of FWB. Initially, nothing changed as such, we still went out together, had laughs, had deep conversations… but gradually some new things were introduced to our “relationship”, which ultimately confused the hell out of me. It doesn't help when you’re an overthinker as well! Firstly, it was staying at each others houses – regularly! Then there was the pillow talk, the cuddles, the hand holding… which developed into taking mini trips away together, celebrating my birthday over the weekend. Erm, what is this? On top of all of that, I was still active on dating apps. I had a couple guys asking me out but it almost felt wrong to say yes? I had every right to do what I wanted. And as silly as it may sound to some of you, I did feel some sort of loyalty towards my FWB. Ugh! Realistically, having another guy in the mix would have confused things even further (for me anyway) – I couldn’t think of anything worse! Maybe this was all in my head but jeez… my brain was overloaded with thoughts.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
I decided to put dating on the back-burner but I soon realised that I was becoming attached! Lord, here we go! I knew the signs, I started acting up, ie. getting annoyed with him about stupid things like… not making me a priority, not coming to this museum or that new restaurant with me, him not staying the night! Then I was pissed off about the fact that I wasn’t dating other guys due to my “loyalty” to him. Then I got frustrated because I knew it wasn't a relationship... it was a situationship! Of course, I chose not to be vocal about any of it – you know, pride and ego! In my head, I had to put myself in my place and remind myself that:
I wasn’t his girlfriend
He never asked me to be loyal
I was allowing this situationship to continue
Basically, I needed to get a grip and stop being ridiculous – it was time to pull back. Only I didn’t pull back. I did the typical "me" thing and flipped out on him instead. It was a Saturday, I was with my friends, he was with his. We agreed to spend the evening together at his place. I drove down to the house (fashionably late), dropped him a text but did he even respond? No. I gave the guy another 10 minutes. Nothing. My assumption was that he was still galavanting out and about with his friends. I was screwing. He didn’t even message me the next morning! That was it for me... my opportunity to call it quits. That bastard needed to be blocked. Okay perhaps I shouldn’t of “assumed” anything… but I didn't care, I was so mad, I wanted out. This FWB arrangement was not bringing out my good side – it had to end.
JUMPING THE (SITUATION)SHIP
We didn’t speak for a couple of months, he did text me a “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy New Year!” but I ignored him. Then one day out of nowhere, we randomly bumped into each other on the street! You would think it'd be awkward but it wasn't one bit. Strangely, it felt like we were back to being good friends again. We spoke about work, holidays, family, general chit chat, joked around, he made sure I still had his number (LOL) and from there, we continued our friendship as normal. We even discussed why we fell out/what had happened, cleared the air and remained cordial up until this present day. 😊 It’s a peculiar one because normally when I end things, no matter what the circumstance, I want them out of my life for good. I cut ties, block them on all platforms, get rid of their shit and move on. The FWB situation was very different, and it’s because the friendship was so key. It was always the priority. Yes I was pissed off towards the end but he was never the issue. Whilst we both knew it was never a conventional romantic relationship, the FWB arrangement was exclusively between us, we had the element of respect and trust towards each other. Having a FWB was a great experience but it’s not as cut and dry as you’d think, especially if you’re someone who is more inclined to having long term relationships. I admit, I like the idea of romance, stability and commitment. I like a guy showing affection in public and vice versa. If I find myself developing feelings for someone, I wouldn’t want to hold back because of the boundaries put in place. Above all, it’s not worth the hassle to be in your head all the time, feeling anxious or irritated, trying to figure out how to act, what to say and so on. Looking back, I’d say I was quite lucky to share the experience with this particular friend. It was one of the most fun and exciting periods in my dating history. Him being attractive was a massive bonus (😏) but having common interests, the same sense of humour, same values and mindset, made it all the more enjoyable. Would I consider having a FWB again? Nah. I have no desire to explore that ground again. I don’t have any regrets but I know it’s not for me. For the sake of my sanity, I would rather avoid placing myself in problematic situations; I already find normal relationships a ball ache! Time and experiences like these have aided me in recognising what I want and what I definitely don’t want. If you are currently in a FWB "relationship”, I hope you know where to draw the line. Otherwise, if you find yourself acting up, similar to the way I did, then my suggestion would be to take the other option – abandon ship and salvage the friendship! Lastly, here's a great quote to end this piece on:
The ideal FWB relationship is one where people enjoy sex, live close to each other and have a genuine interest in the happenings of the other person but are still too wrapped up in themselves to worry about the other person.